It's amazing what realtors will try to sell you on. I've heard a lot of weird assumptions...this one guy was determent to sell me on the fact that it would be pretty awesome to live in the suburbs of London next to a mall. Yeah, maybe if you liked shopping malls, but I'd rather stare at the sun for ten agonizing minutes then step into one, let alone go shopping in one. There's just something about the uniformity of mall-shops and the blandness of it all that really makes me long for a root canal. Ugh, can you imagine if I had to go to a dentist office that is in a mall? No, just no.
One things realtors all over London kept trying to sell me on was the Starbucks. 'There's a Starbucks close by, it's right near a Starbucks, you must love Starbucks, it's from America!' While I've totally broken down in major caffeine withdrawal (hello, my desperate moment in Prague) it's not a chain that I frequent or support. I'd much rather find someone doing something unique and with care and inspiration, and not a minimum wage worker with only real aspirations to clock out at the end of the shift. Coffee is important, yo. Starbucks over-roast their beans, giving the coffee too much of a burnt taste for me. It makes my day when I've started it with a good cup. I'm a headachy miserable wreck without it. Frequently, there's a cute small cafe in the same vicinity of a starbucks, and I much prefer to hang out there, have a scone and a flat white and people-watch for a bit.
I was hustling to the office one early morning when I noticed a small ring of food tents set up in a church yard just outside of Waterloo station. One had a sign that said 'Fresh Roasted Ethiopian Coffee', and I could smell it wafting streetwards, which is much more inspirational than the coffee pods they dole out at the office. I stopped for a cup.
I am so happy I did. The whole 'fresh roasted' thing was not a lie.
The guy who worked there was having a blast, grinding beans for each cup as it was ordered while blasting happy Ethiopian music and dancing around. Wow, a real live morning person!
The best part was that he was ROASTING HIS OWN BEANS ON A FIRE. Right there, in a little cast-iron pan over some coals. It was totally multitasking madness, and he was super enthusiastic and fun to boot.
The coffee? It was pretty good. A little thin maybe, but totally drinkable and enjoyable.
I am so happy I found my coffee guy.